A lack of high-quality communication is the most common and destructive issue I see in almost every business I work with.
What causes this significant lack of communication? Simple – not understanding how to communicate effectively with each of the different personalities on the team.
It doesn’t matter what the vision is, what the goals are, or if you have the right people in the right seats, if the team’s communication is poor, productivity, morale, and team unity will suffer.
What Happens When Communication Is Bad
I’ll paint a common picture for you!
If you’re like most leaders, you have no lack of stuff on your plate that needs to get done.
In the heat of stressful, busy days when you’re trying to get through your to-do list and put out fires, team members have questions.
They pop into your office or catch you as you walk by to get what they need to be answered.
And now we’re off to the races. What do I mean?
People communicate how they want to be communicated to.
⇒⇒ In this example, let’s say you’re a High D personality on the DISC Personality Assessment. This means you’re a driven, dominant person who likes information in sound bites.
And the team member that just popped into your office is a high S and C.
This means they need lots of detail, need to have time to process the information to understand it, and will most likely have more questions later. That’s their High C.
Because they’re also a High S, they hate conflict and won’t push you for details or what they need. They’ll take what you give them, turn around, and go back to work.
This is especially true if you don’t stop working to talk to them and give short, terse answers. The team member will feel like they’re bothering you because you seem busy.
If you don’t understand their personality style AND your own, you will give them 10% of the information they need to be successful.
They’ll go back to their desk feeling frustrated, unclear on what to do next, and most likely put the task on the back burner and do nothing with it.
Does any of this sound familiar?
And this is just one example!
What you need is a deeper understanding of personality styles.
What Great Communication Looks Like
A key to great communication is “leaning in” to the personality style of the person you’re communicating with.
So many times, we learn our personality style and expect everyone to communicate with us in our style. Great communication doesn’t work that way.
One time in a team meeting, we were solving a lot of problems and setting directions for a project. A lot of new workloads were being created.
Toward the end of the meeting, I noticed the look on one of my High C team member’s faces. She looked worried and stressed out.
I immediately considered her personality style, stopped the discussion, and asked her questions about what she was feeling and thinking. Why?
Because her non-verbal communication was communicating something I needed to know, as her leader.
I knew she was stressed and feeling overwhelmed, and if we ended the meeting and she went back to work, she wasn’t going to be successful.
When you freak, you freeze, and she was freezing.
By knowing her personality style, caring more about her than me, and asking a lot of questions to gain perspective, I learned she was processing how all of her new work was going to get done.
Fear of failure was setting in.
Because I knew her personality style, together we were able to talk through all of her workloads, remove some tasks from her plate, reset priorities, and create a clear direction for her.
The stress and fear went away, and she left the meeting in a great place, and has been killing it in her role!
If I didn’t understand personality styles and didn’t have great communication, can you see in this example how productivity would’ve been impacted?
Can you see how much of a waste that meeting would’ve been? Can you see how her morale would’ve been impacted?
That’s the difference between knowing personality styles and not.
DISC is the best tool.
“Complexity is your enemy,” said Sir Richard Branson said. “Any fool can make something complicated. It’s hard to make something simple.”
We can’t implement what we don’t understand. DISC is easy to understand, remember, apply, and get your team onboard with.
For example, when you know someone is dominantly a High I (Interactive) and the attributes of a High I, you can lean in their direction, and understand their needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
This helps you lead them to succeed in their role. If you can’t even remember their personality style, you can’t do this.
As a leader, if you don’t know how someone needs to receive information…how can you set them up for success each day?
With a DISC test, you’ve got just enough information to be dangerous… If you really want to dive in, the Personality Styles Video is an in-depth coaching session on how to not just understand your personality style, but others as well.
The goal is to “lean in” to the personality style of the team or family member you’re communicating with. So many times, we learn our style and expect everyone to communicate with us in our style. Great communication doesn’t work that way.
When a team member has been communicated too poorly about what they’re supposed to do, they spend most of their time trying to figure it out. This lack of communication cuts team productivity in half, costing a ton of money…
Understanding personality styles in all aspects of business means a greater bottom line. It also means higher morale, happier team members, and more productivity.